Regional: SADC-CNGO HOS Summit preparatory meeting

Date: April 13, 2012
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Members of the Southern Africa Development Community Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (SADC-CNGO) have asked for the Alliance’s contribution to the “SADC We Want’ document that will be tabled at the 8th Civil Society Forum this July in Maputo.

The request was made at the recently held meeting attended by 25 representatives of the APEX organisations (FOCISSA, SADC-CNGO and SATUCC), thematic representatives from gender, youth, and traders and donors to kick start an advocacy campaign aimed to influence the SADC Heads of States Summit to be held in Maputo in August.

In response, the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance convened a caucus on the side lines of the SADC Conference on Gender Based Violence held from 21 – 23 March 2012 to put together a list of key demands to SADC leaders under the banner “The SADC that we want!” Nine representatives from Angola, DRC, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and South Africa attended. The group came up with eight key demands.

Some of the key demands sent to the SADC CNGO raised by the Alliance includea SADC that:
– Promotes gender equality in principle and practice.
– Recognises the contributions of women to the development of the region.
– Is committed to the principle and puts in place measures to achieve the 5050 women in political decision making position target by 2015.
– Committed to ending politically related violence and the war against women and girls by ensuring peace and security for all.
– Includes women in all peace and security processes.
– Is citizen oriented.
– Is effective, efficient and prosperous.
– Is committed to full implementation for the SADC Gender Protocol through allocation of financial and human resources in the national budgets.

For the first time the forum will this year not coincide with the Summit thereby providing time to mount a massive advocacy campaign to try and influence SADC in the month leading up to the Heads of States annual meeting.

Discussions at the meeting centered on the key purpose of the forum – which would influence when and where future forums are held. One of the key attributes of the forum was its ability to bring civil society together for information sharing and this aspect should not be lost.

The need for stronger national constituency engagement was highlighted and the hosting of national forums was seen as a way of both popularising the 8th Civil Society Forum and of rebuilding national coalitions.

The meeting also agreed on the need for a campaign and a task force to roll out action. An example was given of having a major outdoor activity to popularise the forum in Mozambique which can be done by having a music or arts festival depicting the theme of the forum. It is envisaged that a plenary session will also be used to bring pioneers of SADC together to share with the civil society forum participants the initial vision for SADC and progress thus far.


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